tuvalu



Location: Pacific Ocean
Capital: Funafuti

Time zone: GMT/UTC plus 12 hours
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 01:42
Population: 10,640
Currency: Tuvaluan dollar/Australian dollar
Dialling code: +688
Internet suffix: .tv

Tuvalu is a Pacific island country known for its tropical climate, beautiful atolls and historical WWII sites.


Overall security situation: mostly secure
Social tensions and grievances: society is largely content, with some mostly single-issue grievances
State resilience capabilities: institutions would be vulnerable to any future shock, crisis or disaster
Conflict situation: no conflict in recent decades
Civil unrest: underlying level of risk; protests and demonstrations are infrequent but social grievances exist and the authorities may be inexperienced and/or use excessive force in managing any future demonstration
Terrorism: extremely low level of risk (albeit not non-existent)
Crime: very low crime rate with limited petty crime, infrequent violent crime and generally good police coverage
Murder rate: slightly above the world average
Gun ownership levels: official guns-per-capita ratio not known but thought to be low in comparison to the rest of the world
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: no


Aviation safety levels: potential concerns
Annual road fatality rates: moderate
Vehicles drive on the: left
Infrastructure quality: very poor
Urban ATM availability: very limited
Electricity supply: 230V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: poor
Plug types: I

Plug type I (2 or 3 flat pins, those with 3 pins are grounded/earthed, those with 2 are not)




Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: significant gaps in healthcare provision
Infectious disease prevalence: moderately high

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (not always needed)
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: none
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: sporadic cases
Rabies prevalence: low risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: low
Hepatitis E prevalence: not highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: non-endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: none
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: sporadic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: tropical; moderated by easterly trade winds (March to November); westerly gales and heavy rain (November to March)
Terrain: low-lying and narrow coral atolls
Natural disaster risk: moderate
Natural hazards: occasional storms, especially between November and April; extreme temperatures
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: no


Government type: parliamentary democracy and a Commonwealth realm
Socio-economic development score: 5/10 (medium levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 99%
Unemployment rate: low

Civil liberties: well respected
Investment rating: not rated
Corruption levels: fairly low
Same-sex sexual activity: illegal
Death penalty: abolished
Languages: Tuvaluan (official), English (official), Samoan, Kiribati (on the island of Nui)
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 96%, Micronesian 4%
Beliefs: Protestant 98.4% (Church of Tuvalu (Congregationalist) 97%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.4%), Baha’i 1%, other 0.6%

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
  • Consider conducting or obtaining a risk assessment specific to you, your profile and your trip, task or operation.
  • This should take into account the likelihood of potential risks affecting you, as well as the likely impact they will have, and will help you decide, depending on your risk appetite and implementable risk mitigation measures, whether or not you should proceed.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Aviation safety

  • Try to use reputable airlines.
  • Check the safety records of any companies you use to charter flights.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance of travel – particularly for domestic flights.
  • Consider delaying your trip or using an alternative means of transport rather than taking a risky flight.

Religious or conservative attitudes

  • Exercise sensitivity in societies which place a high value on perceived morality, even if it goes against personal beliefs and values.
  • Research what local cultural practises, attitudes, values and laws you will need to be mindful of before travelling.
  • Note that some behaviours, interactions and attire may also attract unwanted attention, cause offence or trigger a hostile response.
  • Note that some subjects may be taboo so avoid discussing them with people if you think it might cause offence.

Road traffic accident

  • Be aware of local driving conditions and hazards.
  • Drive defensively and adhere to speed limits to minimise the risk of being caught up in an accident, or request that your driver(s) do the same.
  • If using a taxi or local driver, ensure that they are qualified and competent and that their vehicle appears well maintained.
  • Ensure that vehicles are in good working order before travel.
  • Perform regular checks on your vehicles for oil, fuel, tyres and seatbelts.
  • Consider taking additional equipment such as a jack, spare tyres, water, blankets, torches and a first aid kit, especially if travelling to more rural or isolated areas.
  • Consider using four-wheel drive vehicles for particularly poor road conditions.
  • Car users should know how to perform emergency repairs.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be less extensive than what you are used to at home.
  • Facilities and services may be particularly limited in rural areas.
  • Pharmacies may not offer the same medications you might be accustomed to being able to purchase at home.
  • If you use any medications on a regular basis, consider taking extra supplies.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • In the event of serious or complicated illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.